AS 16 beaches on the Mar Menor coast had their blue flags removed recently, members of the tourism sector and regional government argued that the analysis was not current (it was carried out in 2016) and had it been carried out recently, the blue flags would not have been removed.
The Association of Environmental and Consumer Education – responsible in Spain for granting the blue flags – confirmed this to be true, which instilled hope on the Mar Menor that the flags might be reinstated before the summer season.
However, a recent audit has reported that if the analysis had been carried out recently, the beaches would still not meet the quality requirements established for obtaining the blue flags.
The Pacto por el Mar Menor (Pact for the Mar Menor) have denounced the audit and addressed the Director General of Water of the Ministry of Environment – claiming that the central government have not yet provided essential documents to allow the problems on the Mar Menor to be addressed and calling for a “comprehensive solution to the pollution” on the Mar Menor.
Los Alcazares had six blue flags removed: La Concha, Carrion, El Espejo, Las Palmeras, Los Narejos and Manzanares.
Similarly, San Javier had five blue flags removed: Castillico, Paseo de Colon, Mistral, Barnuevo and Pedruchillo – only Ensenada of Esparto keeps its flag.
San Pedro del Pinatar had five blue flags removed at La Puntica and Villananitos with El Mojon being saved.
Cartagena had its flags removed at Cala del Pino, Mar de Cristal, Playa Paraiso and Playa Honda and the two beaches of Islas Menores had theirs removed, too.